Are there any grounds on which a Tribunal can be considered on the papers for a patient detained under s3?

My client is detained in hospital under section 3. Following renewal of his section the Hospital Managers have made a referral for a Tribunal as client has not challenged previously.

My client is not wanting to contest the section nor does he want to attend a hearing.

I know it is not usual practice, but just wondered if there are any circumstances upon which the tribunal could be determined on the papers (other than if he were subject to a CTO)?

Hi Rebecca

The Hospital Managers would be able to hold their review for the renewal of section of papers, but the Tribunal do not have an equivalent ‘paper review’ process. However the patient does not need to attend the Tribunal if they don’t want to, although the panel will want to be satisfied that this is indeed their wish

Sorry its late, if a patient hasn’t had a tribunal in the first 6 months, then the hospital has to refer to the tribunal, whether the patient wants or not.

Hi Rebecca
As I think is clear from the earlier responses, the answer to your question is no. The hearing will need to proceed and the tribunal are duty bound to review detention. There have been occasions where the tribunal have discharged the section on a referral, where the patient has not engaged in the process. One of the key issues is that if P is not objecting to detention, does not challenge their detention and does not object to being in hospital or to receiving treatment, is detention actually the least restrictive option when the patient could be an informal patient, remain in hospital and receive treatment. The tribunal do need to review this carefully and that cannot realistically be undertaken on the papers. A similar issue arises with CTO’s and there have been, on occasions, paper reviews transferred to an attended hearing so that the necessity question can be addressed.
If the patient may be harmed by the hearing proceeding the RA need to consider and plan for how this is appropriately managed.

1 Like

I agree with the previous responses. During the coronavirus pandemic the tribunal would have agreed to misuse temporary rule 5A, which was intended to allow paper hearings only in “urgent” cases: see New rule for urgent hearings used for uncontested renewals.